In between saying you’ve seen too much and saying you’ve seen it all before…

Truth: Since my hysterectomy last year, I have gained 20 pounds and I’m not happy about how I feel.

If you know me at all (and by now, I think you do), you know that I struggle with the whole weight thing. In high school, someone called me Thick. In college, one of my roommates called me Wide. (Although I appreciate honesty, please know that these people have been eliminated from my circle.) I gained 80 pounds with my first pregnancy, and then I lost 93 pounds by combining Weight Watchers with lactation. I’m back up 40 pounds since then and most importantly: I used to own a Duncan Butterfly Yo-Yo, so I’m a bit of an expert.

You’re bored. I know you are. Here. Let’s speed things up a little: I’ve now reached the point where I don’t even want to leave the stinking house (it doesn’t really stink) because my clothes don’t fit and I’m constantly tired and my ankles feel creaky and unless I do something NOW, I’m going to go too far to get back home. (Figuratively. See sentence 4 of this paragraph. By the way, while I’m not leaving the stinking house, I would appreciate any advice you can offer on killing weeds that grow in flower beds. I’d prefer to go the natural way if possible, as long as the natural way doesn’t involve me bending over for six hours each day pulling dandelions and clover out of the ground, which is probably something that I SHOULD do, as evidenced by the very first sentence of this post.)

A few days back I reached out to a friend who is a certified holistic health coach. She sent a questionnaire to me and I filled it out and this morning we had a conversation via Skype. One week from today I’ll be kicking off a new routine and I’d like to take you with me. In other words, for the sake of accountability, I’d like to check in and let you know how it’s going for the next six months. Is that okay? (If it’s not okay, we need to figure some things out.)

This will not be a diet.

This will not be a hard core exercise adventure.

This will be me climbing a ladder and Kathy holding the bottom of it to make sure I don’t fall off. (That’s how she described it during our call, and I loved the image it conjured.)

This is me when I was in really good shape.

Dauphin Island, August 8, 1999

The adorable baby in that photo is my nephew, and he’ll be graduating from high school next year. (The photo was taken in 1999. He has doubled his height and can now speak in full witty sentences!) Anyway, my goal is to be comfortable in my own skin at his graduation, and that probably seems like a silly goal to you, but for me? It’s huge. (Disclaimer: Please know that I plan on wearing clothing to his graduation. As far as I know, being comfortable in JUST my skin wouldn’t be socially acceptable at a high school graduation ceremony. Some day I’ll tell you about the night of my own college graduation.)

((No, I won’t.)) ‘ ‘ ‘text/javascript’>

36 thoughts on “In between saying you’ve seen too much and saying you’ve seen it all before…”

  1. Is it wierd to say I’m terribly proud of you? Its wierd…and yet.
    It’s difficult to take control of a health situation that seems uncontrollable, to be bold enough to ask for help, to want to feel good for YOU is harder than it sounds to do and so here I am…terribly proud. :)
    I am looking forward to any updates you care to share! You’re going to be great!

  2. Please take me with you! Last time this year I was within 4 lbs of my first goal (a healthy BMI). It was not coming off so I took “a week off”. I think I gained a pound for every inch of snow that fell and I am extremely insecure about everything. Anyway, nothing fits and I don’t want to spend the summer in pants but I will. Show me how you do it. For what it is worth, whenever I have seen a picture of you on here, I have only thought of you as trim and well put together (such cute skirts!). I wish you luck in your journey of feeling confident and comfortable in your skin.

  3. We have weeds that grow along the sidewalk and the street and in between the gaps in the sidewalk. I used water with rock salt and pour it on them and that usually does the job.

    (I just back spaced two paragraphs I had written about weight loss). I support you 110%.

  4. This sounds like a really great experience to me, and I would love to hear about it! Shortly after I had my twins (who are now 9), I read an article in Oprah magazine (no idea who the author was, sorry) about being best friends with your body. That article changed SO MUCH for me.

    I would not say shaming things to my best friend. I would not berate my best friend for eating a second piece of pie. I want my best friend to be healthy and happy and full of joy and maybe make better choices about food but also enjoy lemon bars!

    Nine years later, I still mostly treat my body well because of that article. I hope this thing you are doing is the thing that gives your body back to you. You are a truly great person.

  5. I have made an internal commitment (which I am evidently sharing now with the entire internet) that this is the summer for me to embrace yardwork and house work as exercise. Also intend to embark on a radical and little known non-diet plan: “Eat less, move more”. Count me in for comments & solidarity on this one, Angie!

    Also, re weeding…your back will thank you if you sit on something (other than the ground) while you weed. Chair, low stool thing…all good. And essential for sparing you various aches & pains from all the bending and yanking.

    And ALSO, those dandelions? Let them grow! A weed by any other name can be a “crop”. Harvest the leaves for salads, or freeze them to toss into soups when it’s soup season. Yummy free green goodness :-)

  6. So many words I want to say. Too much, I’m sure. So I’ll be be brief. A) Go you. B) I relate to this in so, so many levels. Sharing struggles is important because it helps us feel less alone (yes, interested to hear your check ins). C) Be kind to yourself; if a friend told you she felt this way, what would you say to her? Be your own best friend. D) I’ve been putting off rejoining WW but this post makes me think I should. Just as soon as the box of Trader Joe’s “Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies” is empty.

  7. Hey youngun, just so you know we have a nice hill that is just right for running up and down or walking if that is all you can do. You are welcome here anytime as long as it is not after 9PM, as that is bed time. Oh yeah, did I mention I have paramedics on speed dial.

  8. I’m not bored, and will be most grateful to have the opportunity to cheer you on. One tip: weeding the garden is very good exercise AND it is the single most pleasant activity I do because no one comes near when I’m doing it (lest they be invited to help) so I get to be alone with my own thoughts. Maybe if you think of it as a chance to meditate it won’t seem so awful.

    But, if you do, there is a blowtorch thing that uses Coleman fuel cans to produce the flame and it has a long tube so you use it standing up and walking, as you would do with a weed whacker, except it burns the weeds to a crisp. No poison, and some weeds are killed permanently by it. My husband uses it for the weeds that crop up in the gravel between the flagstones in the succulent garden.

    I weed all the other places in my yard by hand, and enjoy it. If that’s not appealing to you, I hope you find the Thing that makes you feel good. Dance, long walks, whatever. We’re with you!

  9. I was going to say something about climbing the ladder with you – but let’s face it – safety first, and only one person per ladder please. So – I’m getting out my own ladder, and I’m fixin’ to climb BECAUSE – I have been doldrumming around and blaming my busy life (and the weather and whatever else I can shift blame to) for not getting moving. While on vacation I climbed 498 steps to the top of a medieval tower. I didn’t even know if I could do it, but then I did and it felt GREAT to know that I could. I want MORE of that. Lots more of me doing the things, and feeling strong and able. Next spring (2016) I’m hoping to go to environmental camp with my son. I went with my daughter last spring (2014) and while my intent was go to support her – it turned out to be super empowering for me (I climbed a rock wall! I cross-country skied!) I want to love it as much next spring as I did last, and maybe even more. I want to show my children that you can keep doing things all your life. SO – foot on the first rung -thanks for the invite -I’ll see you at the TOP!!

  10. Oh my goodness, I hear you! I have lots of advice and no advice at the same time. I’ll just say two things: don’t let it define your self worth; and don’t give up the battle – as long as it continues to be important to you. I know that yo-yoing isn’t particularly healthy, but I have to believe that “up and down” is a whole lot better than “up and up”!

    I’ll be following along and supporting you all the way – and looking for some inspiration for myself.

  11. Meh.
    Okay, because I luff you – but I’d like to know more about the climbing ladder business and how it helps your head.
    But I’ll be here and I totally believe in the blog as vehicle for accountability.

  12. I’m so encouraged to know that you’re in the same (similar) boat as me, and by all these commenters who are also in the boat, no capsizing/fat jokes, please. As my age creeps upward, so does the scale number, even as I do the same old things that kept me trim in my 20s. I feel you. I’ll be checking in here regularly.

  13. So I read this article tonight that really made me think. I lost 20 lbs this past year (WW and exercise) and then just kind of hit a plateau and gave up. I mean, I lost what I needed to, but you can’t give up and expect to keep it off. But that’s what I did. So now it’s getting warm, and I have 5 or 10 pounds to lose, and I am totally out of my 5:30 am workout routine. I’m so mad at myself, and I’m treating myself so much more hatefully than I’d ever treat anyone else. So maybe reading this will help? I like 3, 8 and 10 and I especially love every single thing you post. Go get what you want. You so totally deserve it.

  14. Can I play? I feel exactly the same as you. Plus you’re about my only friend on MFP, and I never see you.

    I did lose a load of weight a few years ago during an illness; I was alarmed to see that doing so didn’t make me any younger or any taller, which subconsciously was what was going to take place.

  15. You’ve inspired me to add Weight Watchers to my lactation! I’ve been signed up (paying!) but not tracking. Good luck to you!

  16. This growing older thing kind of bites, can I get an Amen? Since all of your readers are on board, I’m imagining all of us standing at the top of ladders in the clouds, sort of a heavenly realm of ladies working on ourselves, while taking turns standing at the bottom to support one another. Please do share what you learn….it’s helpful to all! Best to you!!

  17. Very excited to hear about the start of your journey up the ladder! Brava! I’m on the ladder myself, on the bottom rung, and I keep putting one foot down to touch the floor because I feel a little unsteady.

  18. We all need to learn to be comfortable in our own skin. I hope that by this time next year you feel fantastic on all counts.

  19. GO YOU!!! I’m excited to watch you climb the ladder and will be cheering from the sidelines, and hopefully learn something too! I also would love more info on controlling weeds naturally…

  20. We have the same birthday and I have a daughter about to turn 10. We were pregnant at the same time and that’s when I found you. I lost almost 20 pounds two years ago and have gained 14 of it back. It sucks. I’m with you on this one. I’d like to feel better about a lot of things this year.

  21. I joined a de-clutter site on facebook that is affiliated with this blog: slowyourhome.com (my basement and I needed some much needed cleaning support). Someone had posted a book written by Peter Walsh (the guy from LTC Clean Sweep) it is titled Does My Clutter Make My Butt Look Fat. I borrowed it from the library. It was mind blowing to me. It is all about addressing why, how and what we eat. Self care being the books driving force. I plan on sticking with it’s philosophy to help my lose weight, I started this 3 weeks ago and have lost 6 lbs. I understand all about not being comfortable in your body. The thought of shorts/bathing suits this summer was already making me anxious. I look forward to hearing updates on your weight loss! Know you can do it!

  22. It’s worth almost anything to get of frequent migraines, though, isn’t it?

  23. You can do it! I’m trying to stay motivated to do the same. You’ll be my inspiration thru the ups and downs. I’ll be silently cheering for you here.

  24. I really have to be in my head to lose weight. A good good friend of mine was diagnosed with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, for which there is no cure except a risky lung transplant that you need within 2 or 3 years of diagnosis. She could not even get on the transplant list until she lost 75 pounds. She had about 3 or 4 months left to live when she finally got lungs from a dear 18 year old boy who signed his driver’s license.
    She inspires me every day.

    On September 16, 2014, I ate a fried chicken meal and a cherry-shelled soft serve, with a side of fried mushrooms, at Youngs in Valley Park. On September 17, I joined WW using on-line and the app only (meetings creep me out – please don’t cry about food in front of me!!).

    I’ve lost 73 pounds so far, my pre-Pope John Paul Rock it ’til You Lock It Tour ’99! If I needed to, I could go on that transplant list.

    And then what happens? I got cancer in January, and my doctors have remarked on how my general muscle tone and flexibility have played a positive role in recovery (my balance needs a lot of work). Things have healed really well, and likelihood of remission is much lower in patients in good health. I exercised through everything until my irradiated skin decided it hates sweat – cardio is on hold, my Fitbit gently weeps.

    I don’t eat diet food, artificial sweeteners, pre-packaged diet meals (except for WW cherry almond cereal my gob). I use honey, I eat real bread and cheese (WW did a cool thing — it gave me a list of foods and asked which I couldn’t live without, and cheese rules over wine and chocolate, duh). I eat expensive chocolates a little bit at a time. I make a vat of soup for the week and put it in serving sizes, then I dump shit in it all week. But everything else is just doing what I’m told. It helps that I’m really consistent with menu options, that I don’t give myself a lot choices to think about.

    I’m a sloth – if I can get my shit together, I have faith in everyone but Mariah Carey.

  25. I have been feeling the same way. I have been thinking of joining weight watchers. I just might want to consult with your holistic health coach

  26. I feel like I could’ve written this post. I mean, for the most part.

    I haven’t been comfortable in my own skin for a while. Have I ever been? That’s too deep for a comment section. But my oldest graduated from high school in a few weeks and I wish I was a lot more comfortable. I’m working on it.

    I’m glad that we can all follow along.

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